Obesity is a growing complex health problem and has significant psychological, economic, social and health consequences. The past decade has seen an increasing number of bariatric surgeries as this is considered one of the most effective ways to treat severe obesity.
Massive weight loss leaves skin redundancy with functional and aesthetic impairments. Adjust to body changes following bariatric surgery can be challenging for many and can have a negative psychological impact. Post-bariatric surgery or surgical body contouring removes excess sagging skin and remaining fat while improving the shape of underlying support tissue (for example, muscles tightening).
Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that corrects loose, sagging or protruding abdomen. As well as removing excess sagging skin and fat, it also tightens the underlying muscles. A tummy tuck is recommended to patients that have experienced massive weight loss in a short period of time. Sometimes muscle tightening and hernia’s correction are required.
A thigh lift removes the excess skin and fat from the inner side of the lower limb, next to the groin, to give a more tightened, toned and better proportioned thigh after significant weight loss.
Arm lift is one the most popular post-bariatric surgeries as skin excess on the upper arms can be very bothersome to many patients as it can cause irritation and rashes. After dramatic weight loss, the upper arms can become loose and flabby. An arm lift surgery removes excess skin and fat from the medial side to leave a well concealed scar, giving arms a more pleasing contour.
Sagging breasts cases are usually more severe in post-bariatric surgery patients than in patients with normal and stable weight. A breast lift surgery treats sagging and uneven breasts, decreased breast volume and drooping nipples. Implants may be required if the breasts are “empty” after weight loss or if the patient desires to increase the cup size.
Post-Bariatric Surgery Procedure
A post-bariatric or body contouring surgery is entirely customized and may vary from patient to patient. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Marco Romeo to discuss and decide the right procedures to help improve your post-bariatric surgery body (tummy tuck, tight lift, arm lift, breast lift or other type of surgeries). The decision of undergoing a body contouring surgery will always be discussed in detail with the plastic surgeon and an endocrinologist, a nutritionist and a psychologist. Surgery should only be undertaken when patients achieve stable weight and emotional balance. Contouring surgery is usually performed under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia with sedation and hospitalization is required. It is not recommended to have more than two procedures at one time due to the higher risks of complications associated with anaesthesia.
Post-Bariatric Surgery Recovery
Most patients with office jobs are able to return to work after 10 to 15 days after post-bariatric surgery and to most daily activities after 15 days. Intense activity including exercise can only be done after 4 weeks.
Drains are removed after 24/72 hour and in few cases after one week. Compression recovery garment and bra must be used for 30 days to minimise swelling and fluid build-up, promote skin retraction and reduce risk of hematoma and seroma.
Post-Bariatric Surgery Results
Lymphatic drainage massage therapy after surgery is required to enjoy a shorter and smoother recovery time and to achieve best surgery results.
Contouring surgery final results can be expected after a few months.